Thursday, March 12, 2015

Honest 1970 Dodge Dart Swinger (Slant 6) Review.

It's the kind of car you’d expect a old 40 year old man to be proud of as he as he slowly walks out of it and tells you all about how he became a successful man even though he's probably just like you, with the exception that he’s just been around a little bit longer. Like the car, it’s been around for just enough time that it’s almost time to retire, but not yet, because maybe you haven’t saved up enough in the 41k so you might as well just wait it out. And maybe you’re not as efficient as you were back then or even good looking either but you might still turn some heads, it’s just not the people you wish.

The 1970 Dodge Dart is or was.... a good looking car, but to most it's kind of ugly, old and slow hunk of metal. Maybe because it reminds you of your grandparents’ car, the kind they would drive and keep in good shape, simply because of sentimental value, and because they're cheap. who knows, perhaps someone out there really loves these types of cars, and maybe by the end of this post you’ll see why.

The Model I have is a 1970 Dodge Dart Swinger with the Slant 6 engine, The most common of the Dart, the second slowest and the cheapest. It's not very hard to believe that in the 1970's this cost $2,237 1970 dollars. Which in today's price rounds up to about $14,000 2015 dollars. Very affordable for a good looking car in my own opinion.

The newer Dodge Dart is nothing like this except that they both don’t come with AC (Oh burn!). But honestly it just feels cooler driving around the older Dart. Not the kind of cool you feel when driving a Mustang or Camaro with the speed and young folks thumbs up of approval. But the cool that you know you're driving a real car and not random automobile down the street.

You’re like the guy who drives to a store just to buy a soda pop and parks by the curb while you step out for a drink with your shades on kind of cool. The kind that doesn't have to prove he’s cool as he nods politely to his neighbors or anyone that passes by. Hey dude. You're alright.

The car is not aerodynamic and very well insulated, driving in it feels like you shouldn't worry about dents and dings because it’s just a regular grocery-getter, with style. This Dart wasn't meant to go fast, it was meant to get you there, eventually.

Do you want to keep this car original. NO, nope nope. Stock is sooo bad, this car is asking to be fixed and modified. 1 barrel carb, small radiator, small fan blade, points ignition. small exhaust. AM Radio..... If they built this car properly it would have been a powerhouse and given V8's a run for their money. But only hot rodders and mechanic’s knew or cared about the slant 6. Because normal enthusiasts get the V8. Everyone else got this grandpa hand me down, without the paint job.

It was the 4 cylinder of today. Only hipsters and old people know about the slant 6. It's earned a reputation for being reliable, but I haven't seen it be reliable, it just won’t die is all. Do you call an old person reliable just because he hasn't died yet? No, he’s a survivor and about to kick the can soon, but he’s not reliable, he just lived longer than all of you. But I guess it's true what this one guy told me, "the engine will outlive the car."

Vapor lock. If you’ve been driving the car around and turn it off. Go into the market for a quick 5 or 10 minutes, then prepare to gas it while turning the key because it does not like to start with a carb full of gas that seems to soak in while dissipating heat from the exhaust manifold. I can’t prove it. But I know what this car wants and it’s a gasp of fresh air.

Turning, don't even try it, without bucket seats you'll need the door fully closed or else you might fall out or lay your head on the passenger's side, the Dart invented the term "Body roll" with it's thin tires and brick like features this car can do 80 and make you slow down to 60 and think "You know what, 60's fine, better drive slow anyways I might want to save some gas. for now." Sure it can go faster, but with a theoretical top speed of 99MPH, no one's crazy enough to drive a stock Dodge dart without kissing their life goodbye. And 3 speed auto tranny

But 0-60 or 1/4 mile times are actually kind of fun, like risking your life every time you step on the gas, so it's hard to convince some people to actually put the lead out when driving this beast. Today's drivers are chickens when you're in the dart.

But you wouldn't even want to drive fast. This car will turn you into the old man you never thought you could be, yelling at youngsters to slow down as they barrel down the highway while you go at a steady 65MPH because you want to get there alive while saving fuel.

Good luck trying to listen to the radio, even if you upgrade your system and soundproof the car, it's still road noise, engine noise, exhaust noise, everything but the music noise.
No AC. Man up or install it yourself, at least it’s got a heater.

So much space... especially with the front bench you can fit 6 people and that's soo much more fun than a van. So practical you can  convince someone it was a wise buy, although secretly you know it wasn't.

It almost makes me wish I got the V8, it makes me wish I knew more on fixing cars, and it makes me wish I had more money to make it the car it should have been. But it’s a done deal and just be happy with it.

Look at all that engine room, do whatever you want in there, go ahead, touch it all. That's what the car says and that's what it was made for. Install headers, hyperpack, new Radiator, carb or even a turbo, anything is possible!!!

Slant 6 sounds great, it’s not the v8 brum brum brum. More like a CHT CHT CHT CHT

Comfy... with couches for seats, steering so easy there's never been a car made for old people like this one. Just add power brakes and you're 100 year old grandma could drive this thing. Use your pinky, it dares you. Just stop driving so fast.

There's almost no reason to buy a Dart unless you've got nostalgia for the car, or want to make memories. If you're looking to buy a Dart, All I can say it, have fun with it. Don't care about what other people think, don't keep it "original" but fix it to make it better. It's a fun car and make it look nice or leave it as a beater, it doesn't care, because it's a freaking Dart. Annoy people as you roar by in your sleeper hot rod or your piece of junk jalopy.

It's not the car people wish for, but the car they wish they kept.